Warner Bros. to Debut Wonder Woman 1984, Matrix 4, & Dune on HBO Max!
Warner Bros. just made a huge announcement that is a surprising break from industry standards. The studio is set to debut Wonder Woman 1984, Matrix 4, and Dune on HBO Max alongside the theatres! Moreover, they’ll also be releasing their entire 2021 film slate on the new streaming site in light of the pandemic.
Warner Bros. releasing their entire upcoming films in 2021 on HBO Max
The Coronavirus pandemic did change things for Hollywood and every other film industry around the world. However, now Warner Bros. has an entirely new approach towards their upcoming films in 2021. They started off by announcing that Wonder Woman 1984 would land on HBO Max on Christmas day, along with many other major releases. And this is not going to be an isolated incident. This is because all 17 of Warner Bros. 2021 film slate will debut on HBO Max. These include some highly anticipated films, like The Matrix 4, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and The Sopranos sequel The Many Saints of Newark as well.
This is an unprecedented move in the film industry, which Warner Bros. made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it also gives a boost to the already rising importance of streaming services. And HBO Max, despite the hype, will benefit greatly from this move.
Other movies among the list also include Denzel Washington’s The Little Things, Tom and Jerry, Angelina Jolie’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, Will Smith’s sports drama King Richard, video game adaptation Mortal Komat, Godzilla vs. Kong, Judas and the Black Messiah, Hugh Jackman’s Reminiscence, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, among others.
Why the studios adopted this policy?
Now, the films that Warner Bros. wants to release on HBO Max, including Wonder Woman 1984, will only be available on the streaming platform for 31 days. After that, those movies will only play in theatres. However, Warner Bros. hasn’t made clear when the movies will return to the streaming service. The CEO of Warner Bros., Ann Sarnoff said in a statement:
We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.
Moreover, the Warner Bros. CEO said this situation is a win-win for the studios as well as the viewers, saying:
With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.
Warner Bros. is also helping the cinemas
Warner Bros. made this decision in light of the worsening of the pandemic and the hit that the film industry took. More than 60% of the theatres have closed down, with many more following suit. The ones that are open are on the verge of bankruptcy. To help the theatres, Warner Bros. also decided to give cinemas a more generous cut from ticket sales. They’ll be getting more than 60% of the revenue. But, that will not be the case for future releases.